SHELBY - The Shelby Board of Education spent Monday's meeting addressing frequently asked questions surrounding the proposed Shelby school building and football stadium on the fall ballot.
With less than two months until the vote on Nov. 7, Superintendent Tim Tarvin shared a Frequently Asked Question sheet to distribute within the community answering a number of concerns received from voters since the new building proposal was announced in July.
"We want people to be informed," Tarvin said. "We understand we may agree to disagree on certain issues, but we want people to be informed."
More questions from the community will be taken at a town hall meeting on Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. at Auburn Elementary.
The proposed new building would house students grades Pre-K through eighth grade and cost taxpayers a total of $16,470,000 with a millage rate of 3.9 mills. The annual cost to an individual who owns a home valued at $100,000 would be $136 per year.
One frequently asked question is why Shelby City Schools needs a PreK- 8 building.
Tarvin explained the district was notified by the state that the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) had $16,082,215 available to fund a new school facility in Shelby, 50 percent of the estimated $32,162,430 cost to build a new school.
"We don't want to kick the can down the road to the next generation, we feel it's important to address them now," Tarvin said. "The question becomes, do you want to do nothing, do you want to renovate, or do you want to build new?"
Renovating the current Auburn Elementary and Dowds Elementary buildings, in comparison, would cost taxpayers $19 million with no assistance from the state.
Another query was the advantages of having all students on one campus, plus wondering if younger students would have to mix with older students. One advantage, Tarvin said, was the student resource officer providing safety services more efficiently.
"The school will be designed in a way where the primary students don't mix with the middle school students," Tarvin added. "They're going to be in the same building so their paths may cross from time to time, but they would have separate entrances, separate classrooms, separate wings and hallways."
Tarvin also addressed a specific question from a voter who worried about traffic and transportation. Transportation would work the same, because the elementary, middle school and high schools would stay on the same bell schedules.
"That would alleviate what people perceive as an unbelievable traffic problem," Tarvin said. "It's busy in the mornings, but only for 15 minutes, and transportation would be more efficient because you would eliminate shuttle stops."
The traffic issue was also brought up when discussing the proposed new football stadium. The current stadium only has 4 to 8 years of safe use left, and architects estimate a new athletic facility to cost $2.8 million that would be included in the total cost on the ballot issue.
The new turf football stadium would run north to south where the academic wing currently stands at Shelby Middle School, after the academic wing is demolished. The football stadium at this location would also lead to huge cost savings in construction, he noted.
"One person told me cheaper is not always better, and I tend to agree, but the fact is if you put the stadium by the track or further north towards State Street, you're going to run into some excessive costs," Tarvin said. "This person's perspective was traffic would be better, but I don't agree with that.
"I challenge you to find me some high school football stadiums that don't have lines of cars trying to get to the stadium on a Friday night. If you build a stadium that seats 3,700 people, no school has the parking space available, no matter where you put it."
Other questions addressed in the FAQ sheet include what will become of the current middle school, what the new stadium will look like, and what will happen to the old facilities. Tarvin said the sheet is to best inform the voters on the issues.
"I want people to look at our proposal and understand it the best they can," he said. "We think it's important to give this option to the voters."